News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty


November 2015

By the beard of Zeus: 1,700-year-old manuscript discovered on eBay for $99

A 1,700-year-old section from the Gospel of John was put up for grabs on eBay starting at a mere $99 before it was rescued by an astute religious studies professor from the US.

The sale of the priceless artifact was only stopped after Dr. Geoffrey Smith from the University of Texas noticed the advertisement and pleaded with the seller to let him study the papyrus instead.

Dating back to around 250-300 AD, the tiny piece of Greek papyrus has six lines of holy scripture written on it.

“I thought, this can’t be allowed to sell on eBay,” Dr Geoffrey Smith told the New York Times. “It will just disappear into a private collection.”

source and full article at RT









Greek coast guard sinks refugee boat carrying 58 in Aegean Sea

Surely puncturing that boat and 58 people drowning is Murder!

The amazingly matching colors of Bashkir villages By Alina Belyaeva


Bashkortostan is a republic located in the Russian Urals with the capital in Ufa. The eastern side of the region is home to perhaps the most cheerful people in the whole of the Russian Federation. // Tepyanovo village


For a start, locals here do not hesitate to paint their houses in the most unimaginable colors for Russia, with its rather unjust reputation for dreariness. // Amangildino village

for the whole story and a great collection of pictures

Russia beyond the headlines

















Wikileaks has struck again; this time, they have revealed a U.S. government cable sent from the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to the U.S. Treasury office that specifically alluded to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s substantial financial donations to international terrorist groups fighting the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to an introductory cable that discussed Saudi Arabia’s background:

“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Secretary of State Clinton followed this statement up with the following:“Continued senior level USG engagement is needed to build-on initial efforts and encourage the Saudi government to take more steps to stem the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia-backed sources to terrorists and extremists worldwide.”

Saudi officials have constantly insisted that their intelligence agencies are working rigorously to combat terrorism in the country and around the world; however, the recent rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has led many to question where this terrorist group’s funds are coming from and who is responsible.

complete article here 🙂

The Bear Awakens: 355 ISIS Targets Destroyed by Russian Air Force in Last 48 Hours

Around 500 fuel tanker vehicles transporting illegal oil from Syria to Iraq for processing have been destroyed by Russia’s Air Forces, the General Staff said.

“In recent years, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other extremist groups have organized the operations of the so-called ‘pipeline on wheels’ on the territories they control,” Russian General Staff spokesman Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov said.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel have been delivered to Iraq for processing by trucks and the revenue generated from these illegal exports is the one of the terrorists’ main sources of funding, he said.
The spokesman displayed images showing convoys comprised of hundreds of vehicles transporting oil to back his assertion.

“In just the first few days, our aviation has destroyed 500 fuel tanker trucks, which greatly reduced illegal oil export capabilities of the militants and, accordingly, their income from oil smuggling,” Kartapolov stressed.

The spokesman also said that the Russian military has begun developing proposals for joint military action with the French Navy against the terrorists in accordance with an order by President Vladimir Putin.
“This joint work will begin after the arrival of aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the Syrian shores,” Kartapolov explained.

Russia has been bombing Islamic State and other terror groups in Syria since September 30 at the official request of country’s president, Bashar Assad.

On Tuesday, Russia’s fleet of 25 long-range bombers joined Su-34, Su-25, and Su-24M warplanes conducting operations in Syria to double the number of airstrikes against the militants.



Malnutrition causing thousands of hospital admissions By Helen Carter & Daniel Wainwright

food bank

More than 2,000 cases of patients with malnutrition were recorded by 43 hospital trusts in a single year.

There were 193 “episodes” of malnutrition in 12 months at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust alone, according to new figures.

Freedom of Information (FOI) figures show a rise of 259 between the 43 trusts compared with three years ago.

A food bank charity said it feared families were struggling to afford to feed themselves.

The government said that malnutrition was “unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, there were warnings that parents were going without food so their children would not be hungry.

The figures were revealed as Tameside Hospital, also in Greater Manchester, became the first NHS hospital in the UK to set up a permanent food bank on site.

‘Thousands’ at risk

Medical staff reported a significant increase in the number of malnourished patients turning up for treatment and care.

Trisha Jarman from Tameside East food bank said: “There are a lot of people out there that are malnourished.

full article at BBC












Palestinian poet gets death sentence for ‘abandoning Islam’ in Saudi Arabia – HRW

Ashraf Fayadh © Ashraf Fayadh

A Palestinian poet has been sentenced to death by a Saudi Arabian court for allegedly abandoning his Muslim faith, Human Rights Watch reports. The death sentence comes after an initial 2014 verdict that sentenced the poet to four years in prison and 800 lashes.

Poet Ashraf Fayadh was detained in Abha, southwest Saudi Arabia, in 2013 due to allegations by a prosecution witness, who claimed he heard Fayadh cursing God, the Prophet Mohammed and Saudi Arabia. Also, the prosecution alleged offenses based on a book of poems Fayadh had written several years prior to that.

The poet’s friends, however, believe he was being punished for posting a video showing Saudi Arabia’s religious police (mutaween) lashing a man in public.

full story at RT










10 Badass Sikh Women in History by Lakhpreet Kaur


Oftentimes, women’s contributions are overlooked because, for the most part, it is men who write history.

In India, women of the Sikh faith have fought, ruled, taught and served for centuries. They have managed organizations, guided communities and led revolts. These accomplishments are admirable in their own right, and they are even more impressive when viewed in the context of the intense patriarchy and cultural misogyny against which these women were working.

We know about some women, but there are others whose stories have been lost to time.

Here are 10 badass Sikh women of history who have shaped our world and whose legacies inspire us today. Armed with the Sikh belief in social justice and gender equality, these women paved the way for a more just and compassionate world.

(Note: Many of the women have the last name Kaur. They are not necessarily related. Many women of the Sikh faith share the name Kaur as a way to indicate equality and sisterhood. The 10th Sikh Guru, or prophet, asked all Sikhs to adopt a collective name reserved for royal families to signify the inherent equality and nobility of every individual: Kaur for women and Singh for men. This challenged the Indian caste system, in which traditional family last names were used to signify one’s social status, and undermined the patriarchal practices of taking the husband’s name.)

1) The Freedom Fighter: Gulab Kaur (1890–1941)

Coming from a poor family, Gulab Kaur and her husband, Man Singh, sought a better future. So, from Punjab, India, they went to Manila, Philippines, with the ultimate aim of migrating to America. In Manila, Gulab Kaur heard lectures by the Ghadar Party, an organization founded by Punjabi Indians abroad with the aim to liberate India from British Rule.  She was inspired to join the movement and, with a press pass in hand and disguised as a journalist, she distributed arms to Ghadar Party members. Gulab Kaur also encouraged others to join the Ghadar Party by distributing independence literature and delivering inspiring speeches to Indian passengers of ships. She was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison in Lahore (present-day Pakistan) for seditious acts.

the rest of this fascinating article over at  :MSblog a blog well worth perusing for all kinds of interesting things 🙂










CEO who hiked price of life-saving pill 5,000% just took over a cancer company

© David Gray

Martin Shkreli, the notorious pharmaceutical boss who gained rights to a $13.50 malaria medication and then promptly raised its price to $750, has become the new CEO of cancer-treatment developer KaloBios, after buying out the company at fire-sale prices.

full article at RT







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